The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Hears Oral Arguments on Pro-life Bill HB 126

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals this week conducted an en banc (meaning, before the full court) rehearing of its decision blocking provisions of Missouri's HB 126, also known as the Missouri Stands for the Unborn Act. The judges are set to decide whether HB 126's 8, 14, 18, and 20 week abortion bans, along with the law's ban on abortions based on race or a Down Syndrome diagnosis, are constitutional. Most of the questioning, however, focused on the Down Syndrome portion of the law. The state, through Solicitor General John Sauer, argued that the provision is a regulation and not a ban. The distinction is important, as pre-viability bans are categorically unconstitutional under current U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The hearing on HB 126 comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a direct challenge to Roe and Casey's rule that all pre-viability abortion bans are unconstitutional. The Court has set oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization--a case involving Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban-for December 1, 2021. The MCC will continue to monitor both cases, and will update our network as they progress.

September 24, 2021 - 3:10pm

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